Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame by Ben Bova

The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame: Volume Two B, edited by Ben Bova, contains eleven science fiction novellas written between 1928 and 1961. These stories were written before the Nebula Award was created for best science fiction novella of the year. The stories are listed with a quick summary of the plot in one or two sentences.

The Martian Way, by Isaac Asimov - the government of Earth limits the shipment of water to the people of Mars and they have to find an alternative water source.

Earthman, Come Home, by James Blish - is about earth people who wander from planet to planet and find a planet that is occupied by other earth people who have a harsh and cruel slavery system. Will the newcomers ever make the planet their own?

Rogue Moon, by Algis Budrys - a project to place an astronaut on the dark side of the moon either kills them or drives them insane. Dr. Edward Hawks needs someone who is not afraid of death, but what will that person's personality be like?

The Spectre General, by Theodore Cogwell - is about what happens when the remnants of two empires meet.

The Machine Stops, by E.M. Foster - answers the question of what would happen if humans were controlled by a machine and that machine stopped.

The Midas Plague, by Frederik Pohl - is about a society where poor people must be constant consumers. Can Morey break the vicious cycle of the people being forced to consume everything?

The Witches of Karres, by James H. Schmitz - Captain Pausert of the Republic of Nikkeldepain tries to return three witches from the planet Karres to their home with mysterious consequence.

E for Effort, by T.L. Sherred - Two men, Edward Lefko and Miguel Jose Zapata Laviada use a machine that records all of history in order to make movies. What happens when they use to the machine to end war forever? This question is answered in E for Effort.

In Hiding, by Wilmar H. Shiras - answers the question of what it would be like to be a genius in a world of regular people.

The Big Backyard, by Clifford D. Simak - Hiram Taine is a regular handyman and antique dealer in Willow Bend in the United States. One night, he discovers that his house is being used by aliens as a connection between the Earth and a distant planet. Find out what happens in the Big Backyard.

The Moon Moth, by Jack Vance - Ser Edwer Thissell has to search for a murderous imposter on a planet where everyone wears a mask.

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume Two B, edited by Ben Bova, deserves a rating of 9. I have not read a lot of Science Fiction novellas, but these were well written, thoughtful, and entertaining. If you enjoy Science Fiction, you will definitely enjoy this book. I especially enjoyed The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz and E for Effort by T.L. Sherred. I enjoyed The Witches of Karres because it was entertaining and fun. I found E for Effort very interesting because it is thoughtful about the character of human nature. Reading this collection has inspired me to read other books by these Science Fiction authors, such as I, Robot by Isaac Asimov who wrote the story The Martian Way. The Science Fiction Writers of America chose well when they compiled these novellas into this book.

Reviewer Age:18

Reviewer City, State and Country: Urbana, Illinois United States of America